View Full Version : Snails in the planted tank

04-21-2015, 04:06 PM
Well it appears that I picked up some pond snails from the auction. I don't have much experience with freshwater snails but I do know from my reefer days that they are very beneficial to the saltwater tank. I also know that I had a rams horn snail population explosion many years ago from hitchhiker snails that became a mess in my freshwater tanks.

My question is, what are your thoughts on pond snails in the planted tank? I do have a sand substrate and was going to eventually introduce something to stir the sand bed but I realize these are not the species for that application. I do not want to use loaches or chemicals to control the population but would be open to assassin snails as I believe they fit the bill for the sand bed and snail control. Any help would be appreciated!

04-21-2015, 04:23 PM
If you were closer I have some assassins you can have. Your best bet for the substrate will be MTSs/Malaysian Trumpet snails. I have those too and they do an awesome job with the substrate and eating left over fish food but they are less effective on décor and plants. I prefer ramshorns snails for that purpose. I think the red and the blue ramshorns are really pretty and I keep them separated in two of my tanks. But I am not sure if they will always breed true. So far the red ones have but the blue ones have not been breeding at all or my baby plecos are eating the egg clusters.

I personally do not like the pond/bladder snails. I have been "given" those to me in the past too and I was very successful in trapping them with lettuce leaves and just manually picking them out. Right now I believe I do not have any of them anymore.

04-21-2015, 04:44 PM
Thanks for the quick reply GNF.

I don't necessarily care for the looks of these pond snails but my main concern is them munching holes in plants and having hundreds of them all over the glass. I've read mixed reviews on them being plant eaters so I don't really want to take the chance.

I do like your MTS recommendation, as I've heard they don't touch living plants, prefer decaying matter, and are great for sand. I've got mixed feelings about adding ramshorns again but I would be open to it with the addition of a few assassin snails to keep the population in check. If you come to the meetings, perhaps we could strike a deal for a starter snail bag that won't overrun my tanks.

04-21-2015, 04:59 PM
That is a problem as I work on Saturdays and don't make the meetings very often.

04-22-2015, 03:53 PM
It's no worries, I'm sure another hobbyist close by will have a surplus of MTS at some point. I appreciate your insight though. After a little research it appears they really fit the bill of what I'm after.

It seems that these hitch hikers are indeed bladder snails from the "Physidae" family. I dont think ill be going the assassin snail route unless trapping them fails. My guess is that establishing an assassin population would be detrimental to any future additions of MTS. Here's a photo best resembling my speedy new snails:

04-22-2015, 04:19 PM
I LOVE all snails! =)

04-22-2015, 04:38 PM
I'm sure I could find several MTS in my tanks that I would be happy to bring to you at a club meeting if you can wait until June. I won't be at the May meeting.

04-22-2015, 05:02 PM
Pond snails are one that really responds to food supply. Overfeed and you will be over-snailed. Crush the ones you see on the glass and let the fish eat them.

04-23-2015, 09:19 PM
I have pond snails in most of my planted tanks and I have not seen any evidence of them eating live, healthy plants leaves. They do eat dying plant leaves though.

04-24-2015, 10:35 AM
One word: Botias. Clown loaches, red-tailed blue botias, sidmonkey loaches...all are voracious snail-eaters. They will clear a tank in a day or two.

04-27-2015, 10:40 AM
rainbow cichlids. The profile says plant eater, but they ate every snail in a 55 in a couple days.

04-27-2015, 10:54 AM
Axio - That's how I was with saltwater but I'm still a bit leery with fresh. Now that I feel a little better educated on them, I'm opening up.

Ronv - If I am able to attend that meeting, I will surely give you a heads up. Thank you for the offer!

Demonfish - That's the route I've been taking as it seems they don't yet have a foothold in the tanks. I appreciate the advice on food supply.

Geotek - I have not noticed them bothering live plants at this point myself. Just something I had read - precisely why I came to you guys for input. Thanks!

Igster & Demonfish - I have decided to stay away from the fish control route. I've read that some of those were perfect for getting rid of snails but they don't really fit the direction I'm going for in the tanks. Sound advice for those that can accommodate them though.

04-29-2015, 03:41 PM
I am in Braselton. Might not be too far from you depending on where you are in Buford. I have MTS. You are welcome to them.